“I assumed I had been troubled, but I couldn’t remember who I was entirely.”
Maybe I didn’t say that right. Let me try again… I knew I had problems with what’s inside my head, but today I woke up and couldn’t remember who I was.
At first I couldn’t understand it. Then I looked around the room for clues. I’m not even sure why I did that, but on the table next to the TV were two unopened cans of beer, and next to them was what looked like a cat’s tail. But the rest of the cat wasn’t there. Just a tail, with a bit of gristle and blood at the end that’s normally joined up to the cat’s ass.
The thing that bothered me most about this was the thought that I might have been the one who separated the cat from its tail. It was brown. The tail, that is, so I presume that the cat was brown too, wherever it was. Did I chop off the moggy’s tail? I don’t know because I don’t know anything. I just woke up and I know nothing, not even who I am.
I continued the search for my identity. In the kitchen I found two empty pizza boxes. Pepperoni and Four Cheeses. There was a glass on the counter next to the cooker. It had a smudge of red lipstick on the rim. On the top of the microwave was a letter rack. My heart raced. My name will be on a letter. Then I’ll know who I am. But the letters were just generic mail shots and discount vouchers. My name would have been on the envelope, but that was gone.
The cat thing was still bugging me, but I needed to find out who I was. Looking back now, that was a mistake, because if you don’t know who you are, you can be anyone you want to be. I looked down. I’m definitely a man, or Sex: Male! My toenails are disgusting, by the way. But my fingers look OK, apart from that wart on the middle finger of my left hand. The nails are quite good, though, if a bit pitted.
None of this self-study was going to tell me who I was. I needed facts. In a bowl on a chest next to the front door I found a bunch of keys. One of them had a green tag: “Garage”. Next to that was a tiny wooden carving of the Virgin Mary. I decided to call myself Joseph for the time being. I began to talk to myself, to offer instructions and advice on how to conduct the investigation into who I was. “Joseph, look in the cupboards”, “If I were you, Joseph, I’d check the bathroom”. Sometimes I replied angrily: “What the fuck will be in the bathroom that might tell who I am? Is that where people keep their fucking passports?”
I did it anyway. The dead guy in the bath could have been anyone as far as I could tell, especially as he didn’t even have a head. It was only later they told me it was my brother. Maybe the head was in the garage. Better check that next.